Fishing with a Huge Bobber

While photographing manatees at the Lee County Manatee Viewing Park (in Lee County, Florida), this huge “fishing bobber” popped up, out of the water, in front of us. After talking to a couple of girls who were photographing and documenting the manatee activity, I found out that this was a recently-released manatee that was being tracked, via this “bobber” and a GPS tracker. Apparently, this manatee had been injured and was subsequently captured for rehab. Upon release, this device was attached to monitor it’s whereabouts, so they could keep an eye on it and it’s progress in the wild. Here is an image of the bobber, as it popped to the surface:

Manatee Tracking device

A short while later, the manatee became visible, under the water:

Manatee Tracking device

The tracking device is not a burden on the manatee. He seemed very capable of submerging, with device attached, with no apparent problems. It was kind of weird photographing manatees, with this large “bobber” suddenly popping to the surface!

Photography Equipment Used:

  • Canon 7D body
  • Canon EF100mm-400mm, f/4.5 – f/5.6, IS lens, with a Circular Polarizing Filter attached to reduce reflections off the water surface and to allow me to “see” underwater (top photo = 120mm; bottom photo = 400mm)
  • Handheld with the IS “On”
  • ISO 500
  • Aperture f/11 (used to give a bit more depth of field)
  • Shutter 1/50 sec. (top photo) and 1/25 sec. (bottom photo) – Shutter speeds way too slow (and images a bit “soft”), but this was an instantaneous shooting frenzy as the bobber surfaced



Posted in Mammals, Nature Photography, Travel Photography
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